The Big Blogger house in repose.
Normally such a vocal presence, Zoe has been strangely muted of late, spending most of her waking hours languishing in the Pimms-filled swimming pool, and leaving it only to whisk up the odd cocktail or two in the special shaker that Clair was kind enough to leave behind. Frankly, it has proved difficult to get her onto any subject other than vegetables, with which she seems to have become unhealthily obsessed. Maybe the re-appearance of her beloved Quickos will finally drag her out of this sorry state of maudlin, mumbling, booze-addled torpor.
We haven't seen much of NML lately. Has she "done a Clair" and locked herself in the shed, or has she escaped through the blogflap for even hotter, even sunnier climes? Either way, Mike finds himself sorely missing their late night dancing and karaoke sessions.
As for JonnyB, he seems to have taken up permanent position by the toaster. Indeed, woe betide anyone who tries to usurp his position as Toast Maker In Chief, as he is liable to get quite prickly. Especially if the toast comes out too orange. For some not entirely unconnected reason, he has also hidden all the marmalade and apricot jam. Frankly, we're getting rather concerned. Also, he will keep spinning us whimsical little vignettes concerning his alleged encounters with orange-skinned minor celebrities. Can he really be so well connected?
Alan has formed his own little clique within the house - "Team Wiggle" - which consists of him and a bunch of frankly rather tatty looking glove puppets. They spend most of their time hogging the sofas in the living area, and glaring at anyone who comes within spitting distance. Except for Quickos, whom they have welcomed back with open arms. Are Team Wiggle trying to "recruit" the little fella? Mike is sure that this won't wash. (Much like Quickos himself, for that matter. K did remark upon the smudges.)
Miss Mish has rather gone to ground since the weather took a turn for the tropical, preferring to spend her time buried beneath her largest parasol, book and gin in hand, wreathed in plumes of smoke from her Karelia Slims (or Sobranie Pinks, as the mood takes her). Worried that she might be suffering from Shoe Retail withdrawal symptoms, we have made repeated entreaties to Big Blogger to set up a makeshift Shoe Boutique in the Diary Room - but alas, to no avail.
With so many subdued housemates mooching about the place, not even The Girl's repeated and strenuous efforts to "sex things up" can lift their spirits. Yes, Naked Jacuzzi night was certainly lots of fun (not to say educational, in Mike's case at least). Yes, all those games of Pin The Tassle On The G-Spot certainly had pulses racing for a few nights, back in the early days. But frankly: when you've seen one "intimate piercing", you've basically seen them all. The rest is mere positioning. And so, sadly, it looks as if The Girl's determination to have the first ever Actual Real Life Sex in the Big Blogger house is destined to come to nought.
Finally, crouching over her sketch book in the corner, we have the bookies' favourite, Vitriolica. Once again, our resident artist (and sole remaining wibbler) looks to be comfortably ahead in the voting. Niceness personified, that's our Vit. Besides which, the Portuguese have rather a good track record in this sort of thing. But, lo! And hist! Is it mere "projection", or does Mike espy the first hints of complacency crossing Vitriolica's serene visage? Such smugness could be fatal, Mike thinks to himself. For, when all is said and done, there is but one central truth in here: that nothing in the Big Blogger house is ever certain.
Comforting himself with this thought, Mike smiles softly to himself and reaches once again for his iPod and headphones. Just three weeks to go now, and the most coveted honour in the UK blogosphere could be yet his for the taking. All he has to do is watch and wait...